Saturday, September 09, 2006

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Twisty Faster offers a tribute to the vanished Liz from Grannyvibe today at I Blame the Patriarchy. (Disclosure: your humble gets a mention, and I am so awed by this that I don't care whether 'Aesopian' is being used negatively or not. Nobody has ever called me Aesopian in my whole life before, so there is no guiding precedent.)

If we inspect the sacrificial entrails of the Twisty/Granny comments thread ('blogomancy', I call it) we can divine what the future of Australian health "care" will almost certainly shortly be; as a Medibank Private member grimly contemplating what will happen to me and my fellow-members when the Feds sell this particular chunk of the farm off to the all-important shareholders, I have a keen interest in what this comment thread reveals.

Commenter Pony from Canada is still coming to terms with their recent change of government and its effects on health insurance: 'Yes even here in Canada, as American for-profit companies are using the Free Trade agreement to barrel in and their co-conspirators, right-wing governments, happily hand over the keys to the tax-payer vault.'

Sound familiar?

And it gets worse: KMTBERRY writes 'As a person who has been a waitress and an artist for my entire working life, most of the people I know work at jobs that do not offer health insurance, and once you get say past 45, it is almost impossible to get even if you can afford it. Which one usually cannot, because the premiums exceed one’s monthly income. Read that again if you don’t believe it. That’s right: premiums for even shitty “disaster” insurance can be as high as $1500.00 a month. [That's US dollars, folks -- Ed.] People who don’t have health insurance aren’t stupid: there is a class war against them. There is no solution. You cannot earn enough money to buy it. You will not get hired by companies that offer it. Both of the people I know personally who were diagnosed with cancer, who did not have insurance, were essentially told to “go die”. (Which they did in short order.) That is here in Austin Texas. If you can make it to 65 without insurance, then you can get medicare, and that is what most hope for: to stave off cancer until the medicare kicks in.'

This is where we are headed.

Don't get sick.


Ampersand Duck said...

That is so scary. We are [holds fingers a skerrick apart] this close to where they are, and it makes my flesh creep. If we didn't have medicare my son would have died at 3 months, because I wouldn't have had the money to pay for his open heart surgery. It's a good comment thread. I want to tattoo it on Johnny H's forehead.

...there we both were, waving hello from the summit of the prime of our lives, blogging contentedly away about this and that...

Isn't that a great way to describe blogging?

Mindy said...

I think it means that you came across all allegorical. I think that's the word I'm looking for. I'd take it as a compliment.

Cozalcoatl said...

Rob and I were talking about this the other day.
We are moving to the States after Xmas, and the health care thing came up. We will get some kind of health care, I have no idea of any details as yet.
He reckons if one of us gets really sick - cancer or something we get on a plane back to Oz. I said if you didn't have health care they would have to still look after you, I mean they wouldn't not give you Chemo, would they?...doesn't seem to be the case.
Rob's mum working for a private health centre basically set up to help the people falling thru the cracks. Alot more of these are being built since people realise the gov isn't doing thier bit.
Its a worry. I'll make sure I have a plane ticket handy.

elsewhere said...

When I was in the States, I met a 27 yo woman facing her second bout of cancer (now in her spine). She was delaying the treatment business because she had to -- she couldn't afford it and she didn't fit any of the categories that would have qualified for Medicaid (such as being a single mum).

Needless to say, on my last day in California, Arnie announced a new universal health scheme, in response to electoral pressure. But I don't how *how* comprehensive it will prove to be.

JahTeh said...

Even on the DSP I tried to stay in Medibank Private until it was pointed out that it didn't cover replacement of my tin knees, that was up to me.

Cozalcoatl said...

It still makes me see red everytime i think about it that MBF stopped covering sport/gym stuff but will pay you for Reflexology/Aromatherapy shit...pisses me off!
Australia is heading backwards aswell.

kate said...

I didn't know Liz, and I didn't read her blog, I only read about her here. I gather she has lymphoma.

In Australia she'd (currently) get excellent care for free (except for medication bought while at home rather than as an inpatient, which would be relatively cheap compared to the States). My sister suffered (and died from) leukaemia last year. At least we know that she had every bit of treatment currently available to even the richest American. I think that's worth fighting for. It's certainly worth the time it takes to write letters to MPs and Senators.

I'd also urge people to give blood (ring the Blood Bank if you're not sure you'd pass the acceptability test, it wont take long to find out) and to register as bone marrow donors. It doesn't matter how good the doctors are if they don't have the raw materials to treat people.